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Prusa Research unveils XL, its largest 3D printer yet

The new large-format printer is 50% larger than its previous 3D printer.

Prusa Research, a company specializing in 3D printers for consumers, on Thursday unveiled a new large-format 3D printer.

Unlike the 3D printers that it has made before -- the Prusa Mk3s and the smaller Prusa Mini -- the long-rumored Prusa XL is based on the CoreXY system. This system uses a gantry to move the print head on the X and Y axis, while the print bed moves down on the Z. This increases stability, something a large format 3D printer needs, especially when making tall prints.

The Prusa XL features a print volume of 14 by 14 by 14 inches -- about 50% larger than the Mk3s and large enough to print a full-size Mandalorian helmet.

Prusa may have solved one of the biggest problems with large-format printers: warping caused by uneven heating over the large, flat area. Its modular heating system heats smaller cells on the bed as needed, keeping everything flat and even.

The Prusa XL also comes with a new extruder system that Prusa calls the Nextruder. The Nextruder uses a 20:1 gear ratio to accurately feed the filament through the easily swappable heat block. The entire Extruder looks repair-friendly, as all of the parts are easy to disassemble. Prusa is saying the Nextruder will allow for completely automated bed leveling, removing even the need for a live Z-adjust, something that almost every 3D printer needs currently.

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A YouTube video of the Prusa XL in action, embedded above, shows an optional upgrade that allows for up to five tool heads. Unlike the Multi Material Unit the company already uses, the system changes the entire tool head rather than slicing filament together.

The five independent tool heads allow not only use of different colored filaments but also use of completely different materials, all at different printing temperatures, giving you enormous scope. The Prusa XL is now available for preorder at Prusa3d.com for a refundable deposit of $200 or 200 euros (about £170 or AU$310), with shipping scheduled to begin in the second or third quarter of next year.

Correction 08:10 AM PT: This story originally misstated which printers use the CoreXY system. Only the new Prusa XL uses that system. CoreXY allows the print head to move on the X and Y axis while the build plate only moves on the Z-axis, adding stability. The team has also added new information not available at the time of publication.